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A potential natural or man made disaster that could happen in your community


Select a potential natural or man-made disaster that could happen in your community and evaluate a local disaster plan. Write a 3- to 4-page paper about the disaster from the public health nurse’s perspective. At least 3 scholarly resources must be used




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Disaster Management
Public health nursing brings policy, leadership, practice and planning proficiency to disaster preparedness and response plans. A qualified public health nurse should posses the knowledge and skills needed to develop disaster guidelines and comprehensive strategies and to perform and evaluate preparedness. He or she is a fundamental stakeholder in response activities, management and leadership roles, as well as in the field where they offer critical public health services. The purpose of this paper is to explore tornado disaster in Wichita Falls from a public health nurse’s point of view.
Potential Disaster
Tornado is one of the potential natural disasters that are likely to strike Wichita Falls. The city’s tornado activity occurrence is notably above Texas state average. In fact, the historical activity of this disaster is 103 percent greater than the overall United States’ average (National Weather Service, 2017). Among the numerous tornado activities recorded in the area, scholars indicate that the 1964 and 1979 incidences had far-reaching consequences. In 1964, a category F5 tornado occurred 0.90 miles away from the city center, killed 7 individuals and injured more than 111 (Kimmel et al., 2016). At the same time, properties worth between $50 million and $ 500 million was damaged. Similarly, in 1979, a category F4 was experienced 9.40 miles away from the city center. This tornado left more than 42 people dead and 1740 others seriously injured. Property worth millions of dollars was destroyed as well (National Weather Service, 2017).
Although the frequency of tornados is low, its occurrence in the future cannot be ruled out. Given the severity of the previous tornado incidences, Wichita City must be ready to handle this potential risk. With appropriate resources, public health nurses can play a critical role in preparing and responding to the probable Tornado occurrence.
System Level Responses and Disaster Nursing Response
Following a tornado incidence, stakeholders are likely to engage in different response and recovery activities. It is critical to note that response work in tornado-impacted region presents health and safety risks that must be properly identified, assessed, and controlled strategically to minimize or eradicate occupational safety as well as health hazards to response and recovery parties. Some of the response measures that the involved authority should adopt include search, rescue, demolition, and clean up. When responding to the tornado activity, the safety of the rescue team is paramount. As such, the potential threats to the safety of emergency responders must be guaranteed. For example, if operating in confined structures, at least one person should remain outside to monitor the operation and help in an evacuation exercise, if necessary. Moreover, before leaving the site, decontamination of the equipment and workers is important to avert adverse health issues.
The overall goal of a public health nurse is to guarantee the optimum attainable degree of healthcare for the community and the society involved in the tornado disaster. In that connection, there are several response measures that a nurse must embrace. First, the nurse needs to assess the situation swiftly and offer basic nursing care which involves triaging and commencement of life-saving interventions. Depending on the condition of the patient, the nurse in charge should determine the applicable clinical interventions and eliminate the nonessential nursing activities. Adaptation of the appropriate nursing skills is important when responding to a tornado activity. The nurse must apply creativity and innovation when dealing with shortage or lack of equipment, supplies, and staff (Parihar, 2011).
Since the medical intervention is likely to take place near the disaster-stricken area, it is the responsibility of the nurse to prevent further injury by ensuring that the victims are safe. The public health nurse in charge must demonstrate leadership skills in coordinating the delivery of health care and referral of patients for specialist treatment. Appropriate teaching, supervision and use of auxiliary medical staff and volunteers available form part of the response plan. Moreover, the nurse most offer understanding, compassion as well as emotional support to all the affected individuals and their families (Parihar, 2011).
Community Preparedness
Community preparedness entails the understanding demonstrated by society in terms of preventing or minimizing the effects of the disaster. Adequately prepared individuals should always monitor their local television and radio stations for emergency details and the probable additional storms. The society members should acknowledge the possible electrical, structural and gas-leak hazards that may be occasioned by the tornado incidence. If these hazards are noted, they should be reported to the relevant local authorities for further actions. The community needs to be adequately informed about the dangers of touching downed power lines as well as any object that comes into contact with the damaged cables. On the same note, anyone walking on or near wreckage should wear protective clothing including gloves and boots to avoid infections. Sharp objects such as broken glass and nails should be avoided due to the health risk presented by such items. When operating chainsaws, generators or other power gadgets, people should utilize the appropriate safety measures. Moreover, community members should take steps to reduce the damage occasioned by the tornado (Cutter Ash & Emrich, 2014).
Conclusions about the Community’s Preparedness Plan
When a tornado strikes an unprepared community, the implications can be terrible. Community’s preparedness plan entails details of how the society members are expected to respond to the potential disaster. Immediately after the tornado episode, the supply of essential services may be affected negatively. As such, understanding the measures to take to protect oneself, their family and property is crucial.
The first step in the preparedness plan is the development of disaster plan which require one to join the local Emergency Response Team that is organized by the disaster management department. This would provide the necessary training in the fundamental requirements for reducing the damage caused by tornados. Three measures may help the community members to minimize the economic effect of the disaster on household or property. First, individuals should evaluate property insurance policies frequently to ensure that they are up to date and meets the needs of the beneficiary. Second, one should protect their household’s financial welfare before tornado strikes. This involves reviewing life insurance policies and saving funds in emergency accounts that could be accessed easily in times of crisis. Moreover, the health insurance policies should be current and in line with the needs of the community members.
Additionally, the community’s preparedness plan should include evacuation strategies. If and when evacuation becomes inevitable, the relevant authorities in Wichita Falls will inform the public through mainstream and social media. The community should ensure they have sufficient clothing, water, emergency supplies and food to last at least 72 hours. Moreover, every community member should know how to shut off their home’s electricity, water and gas supplies at main switches/valves.
 
 
 

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